Monthly Archives: September 2018
Francis Plug: Writer in Residence by Paul Ewen
I recently read Francis Plug: How To Be A Public Author and I have to say I loved everything about this book. It is a work of a genius. So incredibly funny. Well he is back. Francis Plug: Writer In Residence by Paul Ewen (Galley Beggar Press) is released on 4th October and I can promise you, if you loved the first instalment you are going to really enjoy this.
Well he has only gone and done it! Francis Plug is now an author, he has unleashed his book out into the world, but is the world ready for the now published author.
As you may recall if you have read the first book, our lovable character is pretty much penniless and lives in a garage which is no more than a box. So now Francis Plug has his book out there he needs to earn some money, so incredible he is offered the role of ‘Writer-in-Residence’ at Greenwich University. Now prepare for a barrel of laughs. Francis now realises that there are so many empty offices within the University and decides that one of them will fit the job as his home. There are one or two drawbacks, there is no bathroom for one and then what if someone discovers he has literally moved in?
Thanks to his boss in the Creative Writing Department is Dr Alex Pheby and he is arranging The Greenwich Book Festival and of course Francis jumps at the chance of helping, by trying to persuade his fellow famous writers to appear at the festival. Francis loves to attend author events, or is it just because there is free booze on offer. He tries his very best at every author event even at his own book signings were he seems to consume most if not all the alcohol on offer. Question is, do any of his famous author connection actually take up his offer.
As part of Writer-in-Residence at Greenwich University, Francis Plug is expected to write a novel, and talk to students at the Creative Writing Department. This means interacting with people, something that Francis dislikes especially students and he does his best to avoid any places where there are students and this includes a lot of the pubs in the area. Drink and Francis go hand in hand, yet he is finding he is being barred from a lot of the pubs he is using for his Campus novel.
By this time a lot of people connected to Greenwich University are just not sure about our boozy Francis Plug. There are many laugh out loud moments in this hilarious follow up novel. I attend lots of literary events every now and again you just get one and I have seen a few. I have to say Paul Ewen is fabulous writer and this is going to go down a storm. I loved Francis Plug: Writer In Residence. One I will happily raise a glass or three to. There is so much humour here, the humour just keeps on coming. What does become of Francis, and his home in the office at Greenwich University.
Next May when I am at the book festival at Greenwich University I will be wandering the corridors of this famous establishment just chuckling to myself. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Thank you to Galley Beggar Press for the review copy of Francis Plug: Writer In Residence by Paul Ewen.
Francis Plug: Writer In Residence by Paul Ewen will be published on 4th October 2018 by Galley Beggar Press and is available to pre-order through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
Bone Lines by Stephanie Bretherton
Many will know that I really enjoy debut authors and following their writing journey’s. I am so thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for the debut novel Bone Lines by Stephanie Bretherton and published by Unbound who are rapidly becoming a favourite publisher with the outstanding quality of the authors and writing.
This is a novel set over two periods in facts thousands of years apart. Dr Eloise Kluft is a geneticist working on her new project which are the remains of ‘Sarah’ who was alive 74,000 years before. Then we have ‘Sarah’ who with her new born baby they are alone in a landscape that is unknown but there is danger and it is not too far away.
London is the base for Eloise as she starts to piece together the remains of ‘Sarah’ from the incredible archaeological find. The story of Bone Lines is a story of two very strong willed women separated by time but the story could well be the same. Both women alone. For Eloise she is reminded of her own emotions and her past. For ‘Sarah’ she is alone and facing the hazard of migration but why is ‘Sarah’ alone with her child and were are the others.
The story is so beautifully written and told as the reader alternated between modern day London and a time 74,000 years before. Eloise is extremely dedicated to her work so much so that her personal life just seems to have been put to one side as she dedicates her life to her profession. She is missing out and she knows it.
One aspect I did like was the letters she was writing to Charles Darwin this fascinated me as Eloise uses this aspect to come up with solutions and ideas. For someone like me who studied Darwin many years previous this was an eye opener. Clever to use this in a novel.
Two incredibly strong willed women who struggle with their own day to day life for different reason, whether to stay alive or to come to terms with the past as shape the future. A story that may take a little while to appreciate but when you do, it comes together brilliantly. The research by Stephanie for Bone Lines is outstanding and deserves credit. Highly Recommended.
Thank you to Anne Cater (Random Things Tours) for the review copy of Bone Lines by Stephanie Bretherton
Bone Lines by Stephanie Bretherton was published by Unbound and was published on 6th September 2018 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
Bone Lines – The Blog Tour
Roald Dahl’s Short Story Collection
It is a great pleasure to have been asked to participate in the Blog Tour for Roald Dahl’s Short Story Collection ahead of Roald Dahl Day on September 13th.
Many people will know Roald Dahl for his children’s books but not many will know that he also wrote a collection of short stories for adults. Ahead of Roald Dahl Day I am going to take a look at four of the eight books that Penguin released. I hope you may find this collection of interest.
Many will recall reading some of Roald Dahl’s children’s books when they were young which includes James and the Giant Peach, The BFG and of course Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Here though in this adult collection are some short stories that are dark and at times sinister. Some of these short stories were publishes in The New Yorker and Playboy.
Trickery: Tales of Deceit and Cunning. This of all the four books that I was sent I have to say I enjoyed. These dark and twisted stories of people using trickery and deceit as a weapon. But here in this collection are stories of what happens with the theme of repercussions just when you think your plan has worked and life comes back at you. Sometimes as they say you don’t always get what you hoped for.
Innocence: Tales of Youth and Guile. A collection of five short stories which includes an autobiographical account of Roald Dahl’s own youth. Roald Dahl was born in Wales on 13th September 1916 and this short story of his boyhood as well as four other stories of youth and of growing up including dark a tale of a bullying victim.
War: Tales of Conflict and Strife. Eight short stories which includes an autobiographical account of Roald’s years in the RAF as a fighter pilot. There are seven other short stories in this collection that look at conflict and of war and the total human cost of conflict.
Fear: Tales of Terror and Suspense. Fourteen tales that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. These stories by selected authors are spine tingling to say the least. Dahl could not master the ghostly story himself so in this collection he put together a series of spooky tales. Perfect for those dark nights that are approaching. From Cynthia Askuith’s ‘The Corner Shop’ to ‘The Telephone’ by Mary Treadgold. Great stories to make hide under the duvet.
There are four other adult short story books in the collection: Lust: Tales of Craving and Desire. Madness: Tales of Fear and Unreason, Cruelty: Tales of Malice and Greed and Deception: Tales of Intrigue and Lies.
A superb collection of short stories from the mast of storytelling. For anyone who loves great writing and these would make the perfect gift for anyone who loves the written word.
Thank you to Katie Ashworth (Penguin UK) for the review copies of Roald Dahl’s Short Story Collection.
Roald Dahl’s Short Story Collection was published by Penguin UK and was published on 10th August 2017 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
#RoaldDahlDay 13th September 2018
Roald Dahl’s Short Story Collection Blog Tour 2018
A Perfect Mother – Katri Skala
I am delighted to be kicking off the Blog Tour for A Perfect Mother an impressive debut novel by Katri Skala (Hikari Press) that was released on 1st September.
The story follows Jacob Bedford who has arrived in Trieste in Northern Italy, Jacob who is a journalist is researching for a magazine article about the city. But there is more to Jacob’s visit to Trieste. While he is in the city, he is going to some personal research about his great-grandfather.
Jacob’s Jewish great-grandfather went missing here in 1938. Many of his family were victims of the Nazis but there is nothing to say that his great-grandfather was also killed in the Holocaust many of the Jewish Population perished in Italy’s only death camp. It is highly likely than many of Jacob’s ancestors were murdered here.
It is here that Jacob meets Jane who is visiting the city as part of her book group and through Jane Jacob is introduced to Charlotte. Jacob who is facing a divorce is hoping the visit will also bring some romance to his life despite his past affairs.
What Jacob, Charlotte and Jane have to confront is there past and much deeper family histories that interconnect in their own lives. Charlotte is much scarred of an abusive childhood and then losing her own child.
When Jacob arrives home he decides to keep in touch with Charlotte and Jane, and this is where Charlotte now reveals more of her painful past. But Jacob is attracted to her and is seeking something more.
A Perfect Mother is a novel that delves into the past and how that can influence who we are. The past cannot be escaped it is there no matter how painful. A deeply complex novel of families and relationships past and present. Katri Skala is not afraid of bringing challenging subjects into what is at times a dark storyline. A Perfect Mother is superb first novel and one I highly recommend.
Thank you to Ruth Killick for the review copy of A Perfect Mother by Katri Skala
A Perfect Mother by Katri Skala was published by and was published on 1st September 2018 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
A Perfect Mother by Katri Skalab – The Blog Tour